What one feature is in common between an Android or iOS smartphone, a MacBook or Windows PC, and even controllers for gaming consoles, but not for the new Moto Z? If you read the title to this article than you probably guessed, and correctly I might add, a 3.5mm headphone jack. It looks like Lenovo has decided to hop on the slowly expanding list of manufactures to forgo the jack and leave it off of the newly announced Moto Z in favor of including a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box.
I am hoping manufacturers stop removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from phones, but it continues to look like this is going to be the future of our devices with now the most mainstream device yet to forgo the port. A few years back in 2014, Oppo, in an attempt to make the world’s thinnest smartphone, released the Oppo R5 without a 3.5mm headphone jack. At the time that was the only phone, that I can recall at least, to forgo the port. To me it just seemed like that would be a blip on the radar and more mainstream phone makers would continue to use the audio staple. Then about a year and a half later we started to hear rumors that Apple, again in a quest to make its phone ever thinner, would leave the port off the iPhone 7. Around the exact same time as those rumors started to surface, LeEco revealed 3 phones all without a headphone jack. Now a few months later we have the Moto Z without a headphone jack, and if Apple also leaves it off its newest phones this trend could pick up a lot of steam.
While most of us, including me, are resistant to this new trend there are some advantages to USB Type-C headphones. Some of these advantages include the ability to make the phone extremely thin, headphones that need a power source, like noise-cancelling headphones, will be able to draw power straight from the port now, and even the ability to transmit more clear audio via the new port. These are all great advantages but the massive disadvantage is the lack of options for USB Type-C headphones at the moment. I know this will change as more phones adopt the standard, but darn can’t we just have both?